Friday, August 24, 2012

Can the Boston Cannons Pack Harvard Stadium for MLL Championship?

By Zach Baru

The 2012 Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend will be at Harvard Stadium on Saturday, and for Cannons marketing, this could not be a better opportunity.  They are the defending champions of MLL, and unlike the championship season last year, the two potential post-season games will be in Cambridge.

Last August in Andover, Maryland at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, the Cannons won the league's title before 5,027 fans.  This year, Harvard Stadium will most likely be a bit more filled, as the Cannons' final home game earlier this month drew 9,056 fans.  High attendances this season, coupled with on-field success should result in setting attendance records this weekend at Harvard.

A 4 PM start on Saturday does not help, and box office tickets that are purchased on gameday are a little high at $30.  One thing that is certain, is if the Cannons were to reach the final on Sunday, the game would give them excellent exposure, as Sunday's game will be aired live on ESPN2.  The Cannons have benefited from the presence this season's Comcast SportsNet broadcasts gave them, but a live ESPN2 appearance would really give the Cannons needed attention.

As the Cannons have seen great attendance figures grow in recent years, this is a chance for them to capitalize on having the championship at home, and also showcasing their brand to fans who may not know much about them.  Last year's title did earn the Cannons headlines, and also appearances on the field at Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium, but this weekend they can truly obtain maximum media exposure.

The Cannons should be able to top 10,000 fans for Saturday's game, and if they reach the championship Sunday, they could surpass their franchise record of 11,894 fans set earlier this year in June.  The Cannons title last year before 5,000 fans in Maryland may not have stopped the presses, but this year a potential title in front of 10,000-plus fans in Harvard would really make an impression here in Boston.

2012 Boston Cannons Home Attendance:

April 28 vs. Rochester: 9,174
May 5 vs. Charlotte: 9,273
May 12 vs. Hamilton: 11,277
Junevs. Long Island: 11,894 (franchise record)
July 19 vs. Denver: 7,743
July 28 vs. Chesapeake: 9,117
August 4 vs. Ohio: 9,056

Average: 9,648

Source: Boston Cannons
Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at